Lost, The Final Chapter

Jan 21, 2010 6:27 PM, By Mel Lambert

MIXING MOVIE-STYLE SOUND AT DISNEY POST PRODUCTIONS

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“At 11:00 minutes we added a harp in place of that solo piano note,” Levy confirms for Burk as they continue to review music-cue changes. “Did I ask for that?” the producer queries and, after a brief discussion, they decide to retain the original piano-based cue.

 <I>Lost</i> audio post-production crew (from left): Frank Morrone, Alex Levy, Paula Fairfield, producer Ra'uf Glasgow, Carla Murray, Scott Weber and Tom de Gorter

Lost audio post-production crew (from left): Frank Morrone, Alex Levy, Paula Fairfield, producer Ra'uf Glasgow, Carla Murray, Scott Weber and Tom de Gorter

Dialog elements being replayed in Room 6 were captured several weeks before in Hawaii, either on location sets or within a series of purpose-built soundstages. “The shoot runs from August until the end of April,” explains production mixer Bobby Anderson, who has been with show since Season 3. “I use a Copper Model 106 mixer into a pair of Fostex PD-6 timecode recorders as main and backup. I deliver the dialog elements on two DVDs that contain the main mix on track 1, boom on track 2 and iso mics on the remainder; we may have up to eight or nine actors on a busy scene.” All tracks are recorded flat and wide, with no EQ and maybe a little compression to prevent overloads. “I like to give it all to editorial,” Anderson says.

Back in Burbank, the data DVDs are turned over to assistant sound editor Joe Shultz, who ensures that the correct production sound is married up with the video workprint produced from telecine of the location film. “The Fostex records at a sample rate of 48.048kHz/24-bit against 30Hz non-drop timecode, which pulls down during transfer to Pro Tool as 48 kHz to match the 29.94Hz frame video workprints [and broadcast HDTV visuals]. I start pulling elements as soon as possible”—prior to the director’s cut and the network cut—“so that the tracks are ready for dialog editing.”

Working with an EDL (edit decision list) from the locked picture edit, dialog editor Maciek Malish builds his Pro Tools session to ensure that the timecode-tagged dialog elements are in sync with picture, adding alternate takes if he thinks they may be needed. Malish has been working on Lost since Season 1. “We also spot the locked picture to determine what shots need to be looped and what backgrounds will be needed,” he says. Backgrounds and walla are recorded as an 8- or 16-track Pro Tools session over two days by The Loop Group. “We record ADR here at Walt Disney Post,” if the actors are on the West Coast, “or in Hawaii, either because of technical problems or to add lines, as necessary.”

Foley is recorded and edited by Geordy Sincavage during a two-day session at his downtown L.A.-based facility, Sinc Productions. “Lost is a really busy, sound-detailed show for Foley,” Sincavage explains. “Footsteps are a big thing since we need to match sets that may have wooden and linoleum surfaces. To provide flexibility for several scenes filmed inside a temple, we had three discrete types of stone and concrete surfaces. I also used close and distant miking to offer variation—getting back 10 to 15 feet to make it sound more natural. We also record cloth sounds and other contact effects—the show’s producers like a lot of sonic detailing.” Foley is edited by assistant sound editor Shultz, who for most shows delivers six tracks of feet, four or five tracks of props and additional cloth sounds, etc.

Working under de Gorter's supervision, sound effects are edited by Paula Fairfield and Carla Murray at MHz Sound Design; both sound designers joined the show at the beginning of Season 3, and have worked together for 12 years. Compared to other one-hour drama shows, “Lost is an extremely busy TV show,” Murray says, “with sound-designed moods and signature textures,” including The Island disappearing at the end of Season 4 and the flash-forward sequences initiated in Season 5.






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